TAM Airlines, Airbus’ biggest customer in the southern hemisphere and Brazil’s largest airline company, announced today an order for 20 new Airbus A320 Family and five A350-900 aircraft, bringing the Brazilian airline’s total Airbus orders to 176 aircraft, including 134 A320 Family, 15 A330-200s and 27 A350 XWB aircraft. The Memorandum of Understanding outlining the order was signed during the ILA Air Show in Berlin.
The new A350-900 aircraft will be powered by Rolls Royce engines. TAM is yet to select engines for the new 20 A320 Family aircraft. The airline currently operates its existing fleet of A320 Family with both CFM and IAE engines.
TAM’s incremental A320 Family aircraft order will, in accordance with the airline’s fleet plan, replace existing A320 Family aircraft as part of their commitment to keep an average fleet age of six years. Both the A320 Family and A350 XWBs fleet will serve the carrier’s existing routes.
”With this new order, we can offer our customers one of the youngest fleets in the world of aviation,” said Líbano Barroso, CEO of the TAM Airlines. “Additionally, these new aircraft will allow us to continue our strategy of operating a common fleet throughout our domestic market.”
"TAM’s latest order demonstrates a strong vote of confidence in Airbus. We are very proud to contribute to TAM’s business success by providing the airline with the world’s reference single aisle aircraft family, the A320, as well as with our all new, extra efficient A350 XWB”, said Tom Enders, President and CEO of Airbus.
In addition to this order, TAM also has 44 single-aisle Airbus A320 Family aircraft on firm order for future delivery, as well as three A330-200s and 22 A350 XWBs, for a total backlog of 69 aircraft.
According to the 2010 Airbus Global Market Forecast, Brazil’s overall air traffic rates have soared to 36 percent above 2000 levels, with domestic traffic nearly doubling during that time. In advance of the 2014 Soccer World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, Brazil stands to experience even higher air traffic.
With TAM being the biggest customer, Airbus has seen its most successful period in Latin America in the last five years, with 325 aircraft sold and a record backlog of more than 230 aircraft orders to be delivered to its Latin American customers. Today, more than 370 Airbus aircraft are flying with 23 Latin American airlines, this representing more than 40 percent of the fleet in service.